September 06, 2021


Wood Stork 05 05/13/2014 Oil Paint Rendered — Alligator Farm Rookery, St. Augustine, Florida
What it is going to take 
is sitting still,
being quiet.

We find in the silence
all we need
to meet the moment,
moment by moment,
in each situation as it arises,
all our life long.

Sitting in the silence--
being able to sit in the silence--
means emptying ourselves
of all the noise in our life.

Noise is an inside job.
Silence is also an inside job.
In order to be quiet,
we have to quieten
the noise within.

Start with the source.
All of the noise within
has it's origin 
in our orientation
and our philosophy
and our driving motivation.

Our entire culture is driven,
pushed, shoved, compelled
by the My Way NOW!!! craze.

We fume and boil
upon the raging sea
and the heaving waves
of the My Way NOW!!! craze.

We are consumed with 
having our way,
and with other people
not having their way,
and the very idea 
that those people over there
are doing their best
to have their way
and trying to keep us 
from having our way,
and how those people over there
won't let us have our way at all,
and what we have to do
to get our way at last!
And keep it safe and secure forever!

Sit still, be quiet,
and watch how all of this
begins to churn and roll within.

We have to empty ourselves 
of having our way
before we can be open
to the silence.

It is not the only thing.
Having our way is at the heart
of all we do,
but it is concealed in ways
that make it invisible
and undetectable.

It is the operative force
behind Fear/Desire/Duty,
the Big Three hindrances
of both the Buddha under the Bo Tree,
and of Jesus in the wilderness.

It all starts there for each of us.

Sitting still, being quiet
brings up Fear, Desire, and Duty,
with having our way
being the central feature of each one.

We have to empty ourselves of it all.

Nothing changes until we are empty.
Empty even of wanting things to change.

You are looking for a much quicker fix
than this,
which makes this good-bye in all likelihood--
so, mind how you go,
and may you come to realize
that what you are looking for
is not what you need.  



Catawba Trestle 05/28/2015 Oil Paint Rendered — Catawba River, Lancaster County, South Carolina
What are you living for?
What are you serving with your life?

Keep those questions in mind
as I pivot to these:

What is your driving motivation?
What fuels your way through each day?

And to these:

What ignites your energy?
What inflames your enthusiasm?

In what ways are your answers
to these questions connected?

Would your answers to these questions,
including the last one,
be obvious to anyone observing your life?

Published by jimwdollar

I'm retired, and still finding my way--but now, I don't have to pretend that I know what I'm doing. I retired after 40.5 years as a minister in the Presbyterian Church USA, serving churches in Louisiana, Mississippi and North Carolina. I graduated from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, in Austin, Texas, and Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. My wife, Judy, and I have three daughters and five granddaughters within about twenty minutes from where we live--and are enjoying our retirement as much as we have ever enjoyed anything.

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